May 2014

Kathe Kollwitz. Woman with a Dead Child (1903)

Viewed through the radiant trefoil window of aesthetics, my love of Gothic architecture is boundless. Approached through the tighter, denser lens of prayer, however, that love shrinks. It pales and contracts to where I can barely see it. If at all. The Cloister of Gloucester Cathedral Christianity’s great truths come to us through a Nazarene carpenter—a tekton, a builder—whose handiwork we have no clue to. Neither do we have the faintest inkling of his response to Herod’s monumental temple complex. The whole of it, with its plaza, porticos, columns, and stairs was a glory of limestone, marble and gold. Continue Reading
Cathedrals of France book

I should like to inspire a love for this great art, to come to the rescue of as much of it as still remains intact; to save for our children the great lesson of this past which the present misunderstands. In this desire I strive to awaken intellects and hearts to understanding and to love.
—Auguste Rodin, The Cathedrals of France Auguste Rodin was an aggressive womanizer well into old age. The love of beauty that served him nobly as a sculptor served him as a man with notable difference. Continue Reading
stained glass window 3

The Gothics set stone upon stone, ever higher, not as the giants did, to attack God, but to reach up to Him. And God, as in the German legend, rewarded the merchants and the warriors, but to the poet what was granted?
—Auguste Rodin, Cathedrals of France To the poets in stone and glass who created the great Gothic cathedrals of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, God granted the grace of anonymity. To us moderns, that seems a double-edged, if not bitter, grace. Continue Reading